Do I have to be nice to everyone?
Here's the answer:
God says in His Word that we should love and be kind to everyone—even our enemies.
Sometimes it can be hard to always be nice to everyone! Even your little brother or sister, who you really do love, can sometimes be a real pain! Once in a while even your best friend can say or do something that really irritates you. And there are a few people in the world who have evil or selfish ideas in their hearts and don't care who they hurt or upset. But being nice to people is a good thing to do, especially as a Christian.
So what does it mean to be nice? It might include things like being polite and friendly, pleasant, considerate, helpful. It means that we speak kindly to other people, even when they are unkind to us. People who know Jesus have God’s Spirit to help them do these things, because they’re not things they can do on their own! Galatians 5:22–23 says, "But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind."
Once we become Christians by believing in and following Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us to live a new life. People around us will notice this and God can actually use it to reach others. So we must remember we are representatives for God as people around us watch and listen to all we do.
If we’re honest, it can be a struggle to respect others, especially if we’re upset or annoyed with them. In fact, there are times when we realize we simply can’t accept everyone's behavior as being okay, especially if we know it to be illegal, harmful to others, or offensive. We need to be sensitive to our feelings and emotions, but choose to react in a way that pleases God. Remember, though, it’s important to share your feelings with parents or other adults if you feel a bit confused or unsure.
"I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples" (John 13:34).
"Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done" (Ephesians 4:32).